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Shopping for a new home in late November most likely gave frustrated buyers little to be thankful for as demand for homes continued to outpace supply.

The number of homes for sale hit an all-time low during the week ending November 28, according to a new report from Redfin, a technology-powered real estate brokerage. During that period, sustained demand pushed the median home price to another record high, and a third of homes sold in one week or less.

“The number of homes for sale typically declines another 15% in December,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “That means that by the end of the year, there will likely be 100,000 fewer homes for sale than there were in February when housing supply last hit rock bottom. I think more new

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  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreased to 3.16% from 3.24%.
  • Refinance demand rose 7% last week from the previous week.
  • Mortgage applications to purchase a home increased 3% for the week but were 4% lower than the same week one year ago.

Mortgage rates fell for the second straight week last week, and that helped boost refinance demand for the first time in a while. As a result, total mortgage application volume rose 5.5% last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) decreased to 3.16%

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The scarcity of properties that plagued the housing market long before Covid-19 struck the U.S. likely will outlast other pandemic shortages, according to Goldman Sachs economists.

While the supply-chain disruptions impacting the availability of appliances, used cars and computer chips will ease as the pandemic ebbs, real estate won’t be so lucky, the report said.

“Of all the shortages afflicting the US economy, the housing shortage might last the longest,” the economists, led by Goldman Sachs Chief Economist Jan Hatzius, said in the report earlier this month. “While the supply of homes for sale has increased modestly since the spring, it remains well below pre-pandemic levels and the outlook offers no quick fixes for the shortage.”

The headwinds

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Home-price gains in 2021 are on pace to smash last year’s all-time high after record-low mortgage rates fueled bidding wars across the U.S., Fannie Mae said in a forecast on Friday.

Home prices probably will surge 17% this year, beating the record gain of 11% set in 2020 that surpassed the prior peak of 10% seen at the height of the real estate boom that petered out in mid-2006, the largest U.S. mortgage securitizer said.

Prices for homes began spiking last year after the Federal Reserve stepped into the bond markets in March 2020 to purchase Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to support the economy during the pandemic and prevent the type of credit crunch that crashed the U.S. financial system in 2008.

Both type of asset purchases —

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Housing activity in the Puget Sound region remained "very active" last month even as more inventory hit the market, according to a new report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Services (NWMLS).

While a slight cool-down in the market was detected in the late summer with less homes going under contract, the activity has bounced back with the report showing that brokers added a total of 11,373 new listings for single-family homes and condominiums in September. 

However, inventory remains historically low in the competitive market with prices only projected to increase in the next year. NWMLS brokers reported a total of 7,757 active listings in September, slightly up from August's high of 7,425 active listings but down 14.8% compared to the same time

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  • Signed contracts to buy existing homes increased 8.1% month to month in August, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Buyers encountered higher inventory and slightly more favorable prices.
  • Analysts were expecting a 1% monthly rise. Signings were still down 8.3% compared with August 2020. 

Signed contracts to buy existing homes increased 8.1% month to month in August, according to the National Association of Realtors, as buyers encountered higher inventory and slightly more favorable prices.

Analysts were expecting a 1% monthly rise. Signings were still down 8.3% compared with August 2020. 

August’s increase followed two months of declines, according to the NAR.

These so-called pending home sales are a future

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With little inventory, home-price growth in the U.S. hit a record high in June, rising 18.6% from the same period last year, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.

June marked the highest annual rate of home price growth since the index debuted in 1987, beating out the 16.8% annual growth rate logged the month prior, in May 2021.

“While the housing market feels like it has legs that never get tired, inventory and affordability constraints are still expected to put a damper on price growth,” said CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Selma Hepp. “Some early data suggests that the buyer frenzy experienced this spring is tapering, though many buyers still remain in the market. Nevertheless, less competition and more for-sale homes suggest we may

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After a chaotic summer that saw extremely low housing inventory, bidding wars and record-breaking jumps in median sale prices, Seattle's tight real estate market could be showing signs of cooling off for the fall season.

A new market report form the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) found that competition for homes in Seattle eased slightly in July, with brokers adding more listings and less homes going under contract. The agency saw slightly fewer pending sales in July than in June and May.

Some of that slowdown might be seasonal, while other experts took into account that the state lifted all COVID-19 restrictions on June 30, and more people could be traveling after spending so much time at home.

"Although the local market is intense,

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Price growth should fall to single-digit increases by June 2022, CoreLogic forecast

Home prices continue to increase as national inventory levels remain low heading into August. But relief for buyers could be coming in the next 12 months.

Home prices increased 2.3% from May to June, and 17.2% year-over-year, according to the latest CoreLogic report on home prices. However, CoreLogic officials said price gains could slow to as low as a 3.2%-gain by this time next year, as ongoing affordability challenges deter potential buyers — as well as an uptick in new for sale listings.

“Home prices have been rising in the mid single-digits for some years now, and the recent surge to double digit price jumps reflect the convergence of exceptional demand

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The current housing boom will flatten in 2022—or possibly early 2023—when mortgage interest rates rise. There is no bubble to burst, though prices may retreat from panic-buying highs.

The boom produced some frantic buying, bids in excess of asking prices, and plenty of worry among would-be homeowners. But this has not been a bubble. A bubble is not simply rising prices, but demand not justified by fundamental economic factors. The key to the buying boom has been low mortgage rates plus a shift in desired housing type.

Mortgage rates hit what was then an all-time low of four percent in 2011, and then remained in that neighborhood until the pandemic, when they hit three percent. The decline in mortgage rates in 2020 dropped the monthly payment on a

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